With a destination loosely defined as the rest of the world, Mary and her husband Tom, leave behind family, friends and successful finance careers in New York City and embark on a five-year sailing adventure. As the voyage takes her farther and farther from traditional support systems, as her world becomes more and more defined by forces outside her control, Mary re-examines what it means to be a daughter, a friend, a professional, and a wife. Her travels through often uncharted waters and remote island communities offer a compelling metaphor for a fascinating journey of self-discovery.
(Synopsis and image via Goodreads)
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Mary Gottschalk in her memoir, Sailing Down the Moonbeam, traverses two journeys — a five-year sailing adventure and a journey of self-discovery. Leaving behind everything they know, Gottschalk and her husband, Tom, decide to put everything on hold and strike out on an adventure most of us never contemplate.
Aboard their vessel, Salieri, Gottschalk not only increases her sailing knowledge but she begins to understand the impact of her childhood on her personality and in her marriage. The difficulties faced on board Salieri from time to time because of equipment and weather are surmounted and dealt with easily.
Yet, the differences between she and her husband which once bound Gottschalk to him begin to rise up and become problematic. The metaphor drawn between their sailing journey and the health of their marriage is beautifully written and done so with compassion and dignity.
Gottschalk’s writing is strong and enjoyable. Her descriptive abilities shine in the characters they meet along the way, the luscious scenery of the Pacific, and even in dialogue among the characters. The quote above is a favorite of mine and shows well the kind of writing I’m talking about here.
For those who are sailors, those who long to be, and those who just dream of traversing the waters of the Pacific Ocean, Gottschalk’s book will not bore you. You will cheer, cry, laugh, and mourn each place they have to leave to complete their travels. This memoir is definitely a winner!
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Meet the Author:
Mary has made a career out of changing careers. Her mantra comes from Ray Bradbury: “Jump off the cliff and grow your wings on the way down!”
After finishing graduate school, she spent nearly thirty years in the financial markets, first in New York, and then in New Zealand, Australia, Central America, Europe, and amazingly, Des Moines, Iowa. Along the way, she dropped out several times. In the mid-80’s, at age 40, Mary and her husband Tom embarked on the three-year sailing voyage that is the subject of her memoir, SAILING DOWN THE MOONBEAM. When the voyage ended, she returned to her career in finance, but dropped out several more times to provide financial and strategic planning services to the nonprofit community in New York and later in Des Moines.
In her latest incarnation, she is working on a novel to come out later this year, writes for The Iowan magazine, and lectures on the subject of “Learning to Love Living Out of Control.”
(Bio and image via Goodreads)
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DETAILS ABOUT THE BOOK | DISCLAIMER:
Publisher: Rising Sun Press
Published: July 1, 2008
I received no compensation, either from the author or the publisher, for this review. I own a copy of Sailing Down the Moonbeam.
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UP NEXT: Friday Favorites coming up! This week I’ll be talking about the wonderful world of Powell’s in Portland, OR. A book lover’s paradise!